Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Egypt on Tuesday accused Turkish protesters of receiving foreign funds from entities which they claim “want to make the highly successful Islamic project fail,” according to local Egyptian media reports.
Hussein Ibrahim, secretary general of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), blamed “foreign groups” who wish to “manipulate internal issues to serve international interests.” He did not clarify.
Ibrahim said the protests serve a purpose of fighting everything Islamic, even if Turkey “has made unprecedented strides with regards to developments rates and the improvement of citizens’ incomes,” Egypt Independent reported.
Meanwhile, Mourad Aly, the FJP’s media adviser, said: “Some parties intentionally want to make its seem that what is going on in Turkey is a revolution,” adding that those assessments “are exaggerated and have nothing to do with what is happening on the ground.”
In statements to Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm, he said: “What is going on in Turkey has nothing to do with daily or economic needs. It is intended to promote the idea that Islamic regimes, which have made economic achievements and proved to the world that they can strand in the face of all external challenges, have failed”.
Thousands gathered at Istanbul’s Taksim Square for a sixth day Wednesday, yelling defiance at Erdogan, who earlier had dismissed the protesters as “extremists” and “vandals”. He was in Algeria on the second day of a four-day official visit to north Africa.
“The vandals are here! Where is Tayyip?” yelled the crowd.
They accuse Erdogan, who has won three successive national elections, of imposing conservative Islamic reforms on the predominantly Muslim, but constitutionally secular, nation.
Two people have been killed in the clashes, officials and medics say, and rights groups say thousands have been injured. The government puts the figure at around 300.
Erdogan, whose Justice and Development Party (AKP) first took power in 2002, has accused the main opposition Republican People’s Party of having a hand in the protests.